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  • Writer's pictureAdaptive Clothing Australia

Elderly Clothing for Dementia: Make Dressing Easier

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Specialised clothing isn't always necessary for every individual with dementia, but it can greatly benefit many cases. Dementia clothing can help for a variety of reasons related to both the physical and cognitive symptoms of a loved-one's condition.

Here are some considerations when choosing from an adaptive clothing range for elderly dementia patients:

Ease of Dressing

Limited Mobility: Many dementia patients experience restricted mobility, making the act of dressing more challenging. Adaptive clothing options are specifically designed to assist with this aspect of life.

Simplified Choices: Dementia can make decision-making difficult, leading to stress and confusion. Specialised clothing often reduces the number of choices that have to be made while dressing, a feature that benefits both the elderly and their caregivers in nursing homes.

Comfort and Safety

Avoiding Irritation: Some dementia patients have sensitive skin, and our specially designed adaptive clothing can be made from materials that minimise irritation, such as soft fabrics.

Temperature Regulation: As dementia progresses, the ability to perceive temperature can become compromised, so clothing that helps maintain body temperature is beneficial. Many ranges of adaptive clothing in Australia is designed with this in mind.

Quick Removal: In cases of incontinence or other emergencies, specialised clothing like side snap pants can often be removed more quickly and easily, aiding in rapid care. This feature can be especially useful for wheelchair users.

Prevent Undressing: Some patients may inappropriately disrobe due to confusion or discomfort. Anti-strip clothing can include features that make it difficult for the wearer to undress themselves in inappropriate settings, enhancing both safety and dignity.

Identification and Tracking

Name Labels: Dementia care settings, like nursing homes, often recommend adaptive clothing with name labels to avoid mix-ups and assist with personal identification.

Color Coding: Some facilities use color-coded clothing to help staff identify patients' care needs at a glance. We offer a colourful range of adaptive clothing to suit this need.

Sensory and Psychological Benefits

Familiarity: Wearing familiar or "favourite" items can provide comfort and reduce anxiety, which is why our range of adaptive clothing options is designed to meet these unique needs in style.

Adaptability: Some specialised garments in our adaptive clothing range can be adapted for various sensory needs, like weighted vests for anxiety or pockets for fidget items, offering practical benefits.

Cost and Durability

Durability: In care settings, clothes may be laundered frequently and at high temperatures for hygiene reasons. Adaptive clothing is often more durable and can withstand this process, making it a cost-effective choice.

Cost-Effective: Over the long term, investing in adaptive clothing can be more cost-effective if it reduces the frequency of purchase due to wear and tear, or if it reduces the care burden, especially in the world of aged care.

Common Styles of Adaptive Clothing for Dementia

Each type of dementia adaptive clothing serves specific needs and makes daily routines easier both for individuals with dementia and their caregivers, such as family members or professional nursing assistance.

Adaptive clothing options are not just practical but also stylish, offering a variety of garments to suit ladies and men alike.

Open Back Clothing

Advantages: Open-back clothing allows caregivers to dress individuals without having to move them excessively, which is particularly beneficial for those with limited mobility or who are bedridden. This minimises the risk of pain or injury during the dressing process.

Design Features: Usually, the back has overlapping panels that maintain the appearance of a standard shirt or dress while still allowing for easy access. Closures like snaps or Velcro may be used to secure the garment.

Best For: Individuals who require assistance dressing, especially those who may be wheelchair-bound or bedridden.

Side Snap Pants

Advantages: Side snap pants are ideal for quick and easy changes, useful for those with incontinence issues or who require frequent toileting. They also make it easier to dress while standing, sitting, or lying down.

Design Features: Snaps running along each side of the pants can be quickly undone, making them easier to put on or take off without requiring the individual to step into them.

Best For: Those who need frequent toileting, or those with limited leg movement who may find it difficult to step into regular pants.

Magnetic Closure Shirts

Advantages: Magnetic closures remove the need for buttoning, which can be a difficult task for those with impaired fine motor skills. This allows for greater independence in dressing.

Design Features: Rather than buttons, these shirts use magnets that are usually well-concealed, maintaining the traditional look of the shirt. They automatically align and snap shut.

Best For: Individuals with limited dexterity but who are otherwise capable of self-dressing.

Anti-Strip Clothing

Advantages: Anti-strip clothing is primarily designed to prevent the wearer from undressing at inappropriate times or in inappropriate settings, which can be a concern in some stages of dementia.

Design Features: Usually, these feature a zipper at the back with a locking mechanism at the top, or other fastenings that are difficult to undo without assistance. They may look like regular clothing but are tailored to be secure.

Best For: Individuals who tend to undress inappropriately due to confusion or other behavioral symptoms of dementia.

several shirts with a 'petal back' style

Petal Back Nightgowns

Advantages: Designed for comfort, the petal back eliminates pressure points that can cause sores or irritate sensitive skin. The open-back design also facilitates easy dressing.

Design Features: The back of these nightgowns splits open like a 'petal,' minimising the fabric that rests against the body when sitting or lying down, thus reducing the risk of pressure sores.

Best For: Those with sensitive skin, or who are largely bedridden in aged care and at risk of developing pressure sores.


💙 Our team is here to help

Our caring team at Adaptive Clothing Australia specialise in adapting existing garments or manufacturing new clothes for easy dressing.

We pride ourselves on delivering quality services with a caring, personal touch. Our team of experts is dedicated to providing you with the most accurate and reliable information to help you make informed decisions about your adaptive clothing needs.

If you need advice on specifically designed adaptions to best suit the dressing needs of a resident or loved one please contact us on 07 3410 8788 or

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The Adaptive Clothing Australia Team

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